Monday, August 15, 2011

My Review of True Blood's 4x08: "Spellbound"

Written by Alan Ball
Directed by Daniel Minahan

Bill: “I want peace but you are prepared for war.”
Eric: “Of course.”
Bill: “But I’m convinced we will win.”
Eric: “But war isn’t about whether you think you can win. It’s about being willing to die for something you believe is worth dying for.”

I don’t know if I should think Eric’s sentiments are noble or unwise or both but he actually convinced me to want to take arms against the witches, so go Eric in that respect. Can I just say how much I am loving this season? Eight episodes in and it’s been a cluster fuck of brilliance for the most part.

I love that this episode saw both Bill and Marnie/Antonia bringing the battle directly to each other. Marnie/Antonia was quick to point out that Bill came with an army but so did she and the battle in the graveyard during the last act of this episode was an absolute riot to witness. Sookie even got injured during the battle.

Okay, so Alcide did come to her rescue and chances are by next week, she’ll be fighting fit like Jessica was this week but it’s nice to see our main characters actually caught up in the fight. Bill got pounced on by Holly and some non descript male witch and even Eric became a victim of Marnie/Antonia once again.

Eric’s predicament is probably the one that we’re supposed to worry about more than Sookie being shot in this one. Considering that Marnie/Antonia won’t be content until all vampires are annihilated, Eric better hope that either someone comes to his rescue or he gets the better of the powerful witch before he becomes another Beulah Carter.

This has been quite an episode for Eric this week – more sex scenes with him and Sookie, more declarations of love, only this time complete with a V/Fairy trip for both him and Sookie. Those scenes with Eric and Sookie, intoxicated on each other’s blood were so shamelessly cheesy and over the top, it strayed into fanfiction territory. They were also absolutely amusing to the hilt.

Even the recreated shower scene with snow was a visual beauty. I remember loving these trippy scenes with Jason and Amy back in the first season and with Sookie and Eric, they also worked a treat. Still, sex stuff aside, it’s looking more and more likely that Eric will be soon reverting to his former self in the next few weeks. Sookie’s gonna have one hell of a reality check thrusted on her when that comes to pass.

Speaking of things coming to pass, Jessica might not have met the sun in this episode but she certainly got a double rejection this week too. Hoyt didn’t so much as give her a chance to dump him lightly when he turned on her so nastily and even Jason rejected her after she tried to talk to him.

Much as I felt bad for Jessica, I couldn’t hate on both Hoyt and Jason either. Hoyt might have said some truly awful stuff to her but something tells me when he’s calmed down, he will rue most of his comments to Jessica. Similarly, it’s also nice to see Jason think with his brain rather than his dick as well, even if he did kiss Jessica. That being said, this is Jason and something also tells me that he won’t be able to keep Jessica at arm’s length for too long.

Something that’s been dragging out for a long time finally has a point too – Mikey. Guess, what? He’s not a devil child and that woman haunting is Mavis, who had a child with a married man and lost him and now through Lafayette has taken Mikey. I might be in a minority but this storyline has suddenly become a lot more interesting than it was a few weeks back and unlike Antonia, I don’t necessarily think Mavis is intending to be a harmful ghost, though that’s now two main character currently being possessed.

Meanwhile, back to the debacle of last week – I actually find the idea of vampire suicides an interesting cover up story for Marnie/Antonia’s antics. I have to admit that Bill’s obviously been taking PR tips from Nan with this cover up. It’s also made more entertaining by Marnie/Antonia’s clear irritation that she only managed to make one vampire meet the sun.

The dynamic with Marnie/Antonia and Tara does need a little more work though. Tara went from actually questioning Marnie/Antonia’s motives to just complying with them again. Granted, Tara has a justified reason for her hatred of vampires and once again, Pam tried to kill her but can Bill change her mind (without glamouring her)?

After all, Bill maintained a level of civility with Tara when he realised she was on the witches side and he saved her from Pam. That might not be enough to prove to Tara that not all vampires are bad but maybe in the next few weeks, Tara might get an opportunity to return the favour. One can sort of hope, right? Because I don’t see the partnership she’s got with Marnie/Antonia lasting on good terms for much longer.

Last but not least, there’s Marcus. As a pack master, the guy is borderline flawless. He’s efficient, caring, great with sorting out fight between members, seemed sincere in his encouragement of Alcide and Debbie and had enough savvy to tell his members to stay out of the vampire and witch squabbles. Those are enough to make me root for the character.

Then there are his scenes with Sam, Luna and Emma and I can’t help but despise him. He clearly has his own child afraid of him, bursts into Luna’s home without an invite and tried to wage a fight with Sam. Now it’s a good way of making the character complicated but I’d rather see Marcus in pack master mode than tyranny mode myself.

Oh, and Debbie Pelt – the good girl acting is waning. Alcide clearly has the hots for Sookie and you can tell that being in a new pack is obviously not going to be enough to stop you from going crackers again. I really hate myself for this but I’m kind of looking forward to seeing Debbie back to her bat shit crazy self from last season. I feel awful for that.

Also in “Spellbound”

Two episodes written by Alan Ball and we’re not at the finale yet? My, aren’t we being spoiled this year?

Sam (to Luna, re Tommy): “I can forgive him for killing our folks but I can’t forgive him for what he did to you. I can’t.”

I liked that Sam explained to Luna about his parents and Tommy impersonating Maxine to scam her was flipping hilarious and morally reprehensible at the same time.

Sookie: “I’m trusting you, Eric.”
Eric: “I won’t betray you, ever.”
Sookie: “I may remind you of that someday.”

It seemed like both Eric’s Viking history and Sookie’s fae lineage were sort of merging during the trippy scenes. Am I the only who thought that or am I reading too much into it?

Andy: “Jesus, tits and God America, Jason. What the fuck is happening to me?”

Eric (to Sookie): “All is possible. You and me – possible. Loving you – possible.”

Where was Jesus this week? Actually, come to think of it, did he even return from Mexico last week? And can we move beyond Andy’s V addiction, considering that it’s adding nothing to the show, story wise?

Hoyt (to Jessica): “My mom was right all along. Maybe God does hate fangs. And you know, so do I?”

Eric: “I just wanna be with you, only you, forever.”
Sookie: “There’s no such thing as forever.”

Standout music: Siouxsie And The Banshee’s “Spellbound” of course.

Marnie/Antonia: “I am no lady. I am peasant and proud of it.”
Bill: “I’ve come in peace.”
Marnie/Antonia: “Do you? I know you are not alone.”
Bill: “Nor are you.”

Chronology: From where “Cold Grey Light Of Dawn” left off.

Cheesiness of Sookie/Eric’s scenes aside, “Spellbound” is my favourite episode of this season. Bloody brilliant from start to finish, an absolutely kick ass vampires and witches smackdown, nice character moments, this episode had everything I needed.

Rating: 10 out of 10

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